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Seals spotted along Virginia, North Carolina coast

Posted at 10:57 AM, Jan 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-10 11:25:27-05

COROLLA, NC -- Photos on social media show seals spotted along the Virginia and North Carolina coast as the animals migrate south for the winter.

“Over the next several months, you may encounter seals on Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches,” officials with the national seapark wrote on Facebook.

Officials said the seals "typically haul out on beaches to rest after a period of feeding in the ocean."

A worker at a rental company snapped several pictures and said the seals often "come up to rest" as they journey south.

Additionally, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center officials said a harbor seal was spotted last week in Virginia Beach.

"This harbor seal has been spotted a few times in Virginia Beach," museum officials said. "While we know it might be difficult to stay away from this animal, we request that you do not get close or try to encourage the animal to go back to the water."

Officials warned that the seals need their space and stay at least 150 feet away from them.

"Remember, seals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). It is against the law to touch, feed, or otherwise harass seals," Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials said.